The Islay Rugby Tournament is gaining popularity with each year and this year Bruichladdich Distillery supports the 2009 Islay Beach Rugby Festival. The tournament, limited to 20 teams, takes place on Saturday 13th June at noon on Port Ellenâ€™s strand and has fast become one of the highlights of the Islay and rugby calender. Teams from Scotland, England and Ireland take part, including Islay distilleries, the forces universities, local clubs, Sale, Ulster and all stars including ex 6 Nations and Lions players.
Teams of 5 players, with up to 5 reserves, compete with a standard rugby ball on a sand pitch of only 25 by 20 metres, without goalposts - there is no kicking (of the ball). Scoring is "one try, one point" with matches comprising of two, frenetic, 4 minute halves of full contact rugby, combining the verve and skill of sevens with the impact of fifteens. Islay Rugby Club president Simon Coughlin, a director of the Bruichladdich Distillery, said: 'Itâ€™s very competitive, played at great speed which is exhausting to play as it is to watch.' 'This is high octane rugby. The tournamentâ€™s growing repute has led to prestigious teams such as Ulster and Sale travelling to the island - but that may be just for the whisky.' Continue reading.....â€˜The legendary British Lion, Ian 'Mighty Mouse' McLauchlan, even delayed joining the Lions tour in South Africa in order to attend. Thatâ€™s the level of appeal of our tournament.' 'Itâ€™s a great day out in a beautiful setting, with great craic while spectators and girlfriends picnic, kids running in and out of the sea - and hard-fought sport thrown in for free!'
The teams taking part are: Stirling University, Ardbeg Distillery, 5 Regiment AAC, Bishopton, Glasgow Academicals, Islay 1, Islay 2, Kilchoman Distillery, Loch Lomond, Moffat, Strathendrick, Bruichladdich Distillery, Dumfries, Lochaber, Knutsford, Edinburgh Academicals and Sale
Location: Port Ellen Beach, Isle of Islay. Kick Off: 12pm Saturday 13th June. More info is available at http://islaybeachrugby.com